Celebrate Paddling will host full slate of events

Paddlers make their way across Middle Saranac Lake. (Photo provided — Mike Lynch)

SARANAC LAKE — Local canoe, kayak and stand-up paddleboard aficionados are again teaming up to provide a full slate of events throughout the month of June.

Celebrate Paddling is a joint effort of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters, and St. Regis Canoe Outfitters. The month-long event offers lectures, historical discussions, a river cleanup and, of course, numerous chances to get out on local waters.

Celebrate Paddling kicks off today at 7 p.m. at the Blue Moon Cafe, where Bobby O’Connor, an instructor at Paul Smith’s College, recounts his 10-day, 316-mile journey from Rouses Point to the Statue of Liberty. O’Connor collected water samples along the way to test for plastic microbeads, and he will highlight his report with plenty of photos.

On Thursday, Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters will host the first of four kayak tours of local waters, beginning at 5:30 p.m. each Thursday in June, with rentals available.

Lakes and Trails will also host paddling demonstrations the next two Saturdays at Lake Flower. This Saturday, Swift Canoe and Kayak will have boats on hand for people to try out, and the stand-up paddle board festival will kick off on June 17. During the three-day SUP festival, there will be paddling demonstrations, SUP yoga and races.

There are also four opportunities to take in paddling-related lore and presentations.

The first such lecture will be offered by Will Madison, the great-great-great grandson of George “Nessmuk” Sears. In the late 1800s, Sears chronicled a trip he made from Old Forge to Paul Smiths. In 2015, Madison retraced his forebear’s path and will discuss his trip on June 15 at the Saranac Laboratory Museum, 89 Church St. (Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said Sears made canoes.)

On June 20 at the Left Bank Cafe, Eric Asit will host a showing of his short film about whitewater kayaking in Nepal. On June 28, Bitters & Bones will host a panel discussion about whitewater pioneers in the Adirondacks. The next evening, Lorraine Duval will talk about her 25 years of paddling in the Adirondacks.

St. Regis Canoe Outfitters will also officially release two new additions to its Adirondack paddling map series during a map release party at 5:30 p.m. June 24.

There will be a cleanup of the Saranac River on Sunday, June 25.

Most events are free and all are open to the public. For more information, including event addresses and costs, go to www.celebratepaddlingadk.com.

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